While addressing the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council annual summit, Musk took aim at the prevalence of MBA (Master of Business Administration) holders among business leaders, arguing that their textbook-based approach was stifling creativity and innovation in the workplace.
“I think there might be too many MBAs running companies,” Musk said. “There’s the MBA-ization of America, which I think is maybe not that great. There should be more focus on the product or service itself, less time on board meetings, less time on financials.”
Twitter and Facebook users applauded Musk for calling out the stale, uninspired aspects of corporate culture. One reply argued that former Apple CEO, the late Steve Jobs, became a tech visionary by embracing a similar skepticism of the status quo.
“I think there might be too many M.B.A.s running companies,” says Elon Musk. “There should be more focus on the product or service itself, less time on board meetings, less time on financials.” https://t.co/YxblIE2S0M
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) December 10, 2020
An observer on Facebook praised the SpaceX founder for blowing the whistle on educational institutions which rake in cash with their lucrative MBA programs.
“So spot on here. Universities have sold the world on the need for MBAs primarily because they are so profitable for the Universities not because they create some disproportionate value,” read the supportive comment.
Not surprisingly, many others took issue with the remarks, noting that there was a reason why the business management degree is globally recognized and sought after.
“Too may surgeons operating in hospitals too…give other people a turn on the scalpel!” read one facetious reply.
Too may surgeons operating in hospitals too…give other people a turn on the scalpel!
— Tim Riggins (@energyburrito) December 10, 2020
Others were equally unimpressed by Musk’s insights.
Ah yes, proper governance and holding accounts to shareholders. The 2 greatest evils of the corporate world. 🤓
— Olivier Landry (@olivierlandry) December 10, 2020
The entrepreneur was also accused of taking government handouts and trying to avoid taxes, arguing that such business practices disqualify the billionaire from lecturing executives.
“Less time on financials” – the guy who’s taken tax payer bailouts of his company, then moved to Texas to avoid taxes 😂
— Mrs. Nemo (@katoswife) December 10, 2020
Musk was also encouraged to take his own advice. A reporter for CNBC created a list of Tesla board members who hold MBAs.
Does Elon Musk think Tesla board has too many MBAs? Robyn Denholm, masters of commerce (UNSW). Hiromichi Mizuno, MBA (Kellogg). Ira Ehrenpreis, MBA (Stanford). Ok. Kathleen Wilson-Thomspon law degree & masters in corp. & finance law (Wayne State). Larry Ellison, dropped out iirc.
— Lora Kolodny (@lorakolodny) December 10, 2020
The businessman also announced during the online summit that he had moved his private residence to Texas, complaining that his former home state of California had become “too complacent” and “entitled.”
Like this story? Share it with a friend!